pink sheds, 2005,
commissioned under the ground up programme of temporary public art in rural contexts
Through the Pink Sheds project I was attempting to tackle the continuing legacy of the picturesque and the way in which that obscures an understanding of the rural context as a site of productive work. Each weekend in February 2005 a small, working shed on the peninsula of Finavara in the Burren, Co. Clare was lit up with pink light from dusk until the batteries ran down.
As well as drawing attention to the role of farming in the landscape, the work temporarily monumentalised each shed; this was important because of the way in which it drew attention to the ‘aesthetic of make-do’ that characterises a lot of rural, cultural activity.
As a result of my participation in Ground Up and exposure to the work and thinking of all those who participated, I have arrived at a number of conclusions. The rural context has its own aesthetic, which is informal, local, discontinuous and complex. This aesthetic doesn’t lend itself easily to cultural packaging and is generally overlooked or presented in a sanitised, romantic form.
The cliché of rural=conservative and urban=progressive derives from a metro-centric philosophy, in which ideas of progress are closely linked to consumption-driven social and economic models. This produces a cultural orthodoxy that needs to be challenged. Through my work I hope to contribute to a public questioning of the extent to which use and ownership of natural resources, including the patenting of life, is given over to corporate interests.
fiona woods pink sheds >>
Fahy's shed, day and night, Finavara, Co. Clare, 2005 (photos Veronica Nicholson)
O' Meara's shed, day and night, Finavara, Co. Clare, 2005
Nolan's milking parlour, Finavara, Co. Clare, 2005